Top Line: Ovechkin goes for 50-in-50; Luongo's Christmas photo; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Two years after being written off as a shadow of his former self, Alexander Ovechkin is tearing up the league at a near-legendary scoring pace. Here's what it would take for him to become the sixth player in history to score 50 goals in 50 games.
• It took a two-man advantage, but someone finally scored on Martin Jones. The Kings' rookie 'tender was full value again last night, smothering Toronto to earn his fourth straight win ... and a few jabs from his teammates for letting one in.
• Amazingly, one team did not vote to approve the stunning $5.2 billion Canadian TV deal with Rogers at the Board of Governors meeting this week. More amazing: it was a Canadian team .. .partly owned by Rogers. Damien Cox has the story.
• As the great philosopher Linus Van Pelt once observed, "Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest." In the round-headed kid's honor then, here are 10 reason why the Florida Panthers are the Panthersiest team of all time.
• Eric Duhatschek explains that sharing is the key to the success of the St. Louis Blues.
• Here's what Barry Trotz can't believe about 19-year-old prodigy Seth Jones.
• Zack Kassian's warning to any Edmonton Oilers who are looking to avenge his preseason breaking of Sam Gagner's jaw: "The door is open. Go ahead." I'm guessing that the ratings for when the two teams meet on Friday night one will be terrible, what with everyone turning up their nose at fighting and all.
• Here it is: the Christmas card of the year:
• John Tavares' willpower and Kevin Poulin standing on his head helped the Isles end their miserable 10-game losing skid, but that's hardly a long-term recipe for success. Getting some offense from brutally snakebitten forwards like Michael Grabner, Josh Bailey and Frans Nielsen might help.
• Alain Vigneault has identified the problem with the New York Rangers: He doesn't have the right players, at least, not the right ones to make the team play the way he wants it to play. I suspect that situation's not going to change any time soon, so the onus falls on him to figure out how to make the meal with the groceries he's got.
• Don Brennan says there are two reasons why the timing of Jared Cowen's suspension couldn't be worse.
• The World Juniors has a history of chewing up underaged players. Canada's 16-year-old wunderkind Connor McDavid will be the exception. Like he always is.
• The Wild released Mathew Dumba to join Team Canada this week, and the prognosis is good that injured forward Jonathan Drouin will be in camp as well. Now, Canada is hoping that good news comes in threes.
• Here's some good news for fans of women's hockey ... well, at least those who have a really comprehensive cable package. I have no idea if I get the Universal Sports Network, but if I do, I'll be watching.• And finally, your hockey meme for the day. Pure greatness.